Fulton school budget vote is Tuesday

by Nicole Reitz

Registered voters in the Fulton City School District will have the opportunity to vote on the 2013-14 school district budget May 21 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Residents who live inside Fulton on the west side of the Oswego River can vote at Lanigan Elementary School. West side voters who live outside Fulton may vote at Granby Elementary School.

East side residents who live within Fulton’s boundaries will vote at Fairgrieve Elementary School while residents who live outside Fulton on the east side will vote at Volney Elementary School.

Fulton residents will cast their vote on the $65.26 million budget. There is a percentage spending increase of 4.6 percent and an estimated tax levy increase of 1.5 percent for a total proposed levy of $20,042,698.

The district is requesting a tax levy that is below the permissible tax levy limit and will require a simple majority.

The tax rate is based on the overall assessed value of the property in the city or town, and the equalization rate for that municipality.

Equalization rates are set by the New York State Office of Real Property Services. After the Basic STAR Exemption is applied,  a homeowner who resides in a house assessed at $80,000 can expect to pay $19.50 more next year in annual school taxes.

The budget is increasing by $2.86 million. The increase includes new instructional materials and technology for students to support the common core standards.

The budget also covers a spike in pension costs and increases in BOCES administration costs. The full cost of the second energy performance project and the BOCES capital project is reflected in this budget.

Capital project costs are offset by state building aid and BOCES aid, which lessens the impact on taxpayers.

The budget being presented to the community meets the district’s three goals of maintaining student supports and services, using less of the fund balance and for the budget to be sustainable and meet the multi-year budget planning process.

If voters defeat their school district budget on Tuesday, the district can either resubmit the same proposal or a revised one for a re-vote June 18 or adopt a contingent budget.

If residents vote down a resubmitted budget, the district then must adopt a contingent budget.

If it is necessary for the district to go to a contingent budget, the budget would be $64,962,902, a difference of $296,198. Adopting a contingent budget prohibits a district from spending any money in certain areas, such as community use of school facilities, unless all costs are reimbursed to the district.

Public hearing on TV

The public hearing on the proposed 2013-2014 budget, which was held May 8, will be aired on Time Warner Cable public access channel 96 in Fulton.

It will be on television May 18 at 1 a.m., May 19 at 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., May 20 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., and May 21 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Port City Roller Derby juniors team to debut May 25

Port City Roller Derby’s Lagoon Squad, composed of skaters ages 10 to 17, recently gathered for a team photo celebrating this new junior derby team. They make their public debut in a bout against Black Mamba Junior Derby at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Oswego’s Crisafulli Rink.
Port City Roller Derby’s Lagoon Squad, composed of skaters ages 10 to 17, recently gathered for a team photo celebrating this new junior derby team. They make their public debut in a bout against Black Mamba Junior Derby at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Oswego’s Crisafulli Rink.

Roller derby history will take the track when Oswego County’s first junior derby league, Port City Roller Derby’s Lagoon Squad, debuts May 25 in Crisafulli Rink.

Formed last winter, the league for skaters ages 10 to 17 will play Black Mamba Junior Derby from Syracuse.

Doors open at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. whistle for the juniors bout. Port City Roller Derby’s Breakwall Bombshells will host the Roc City Roller Derby B-Sides in a bout starting around 7:45.

“Roller derby is a judgment-free zone and the people on the team are more accepting than some of the school sports I have tried out for,” said 14-year-old Chloe Koegel, who goes by the nickname Space Case on the track. “Joining roller derby has boosted my self-esteem and my self-confidence. In roller derby it doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, small or big, everyone accepts you for you.”

Cassie Ashby, also known as Ash B. Rotten, praised the sisterhood on the team.

“They count on me to help and I count on them to help when it’s needed,” she said. “Roller derby is my new life! I have made friends that I never really expected to be with.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Advance tickets are available online at portcityrollerderby.org. Attendees interested in trackside seating are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

A portion of the proceeds will support the H. Lee White Marine Museum.

Fulton softball team wins three of last four games

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity softball team has won three out of its last four games.

Fulton came away with a hard fought win over Cortland May 9. The Lady Raiders earned one of its more impressive wins of the season when they took on Jamesville-DeWitt the following day. Fulton came through during the fourth and fifth innings to escape with the win.

The Lady Raiders kept it going when they took on Homer May 13. Fulton scored five runs during the final 3 and 1/2 innings to pull away from Homer.

Unfortunately for the Lady Raiders, East Syracuse-Minoa stormed ahead late in the game to come away with the win.

Fulton got off to a decent start when it took on Cortland, jumping out to a 1-0 lead during the first inning.

After a scoreless second inning, Cortland tied the game. The game remained tied after both teams scored two runs each during the fourth inning.

The Lady Raiders pulled ahead during the fifth inning. They outscored Cortland by a run to come away with a 5-4 win.

Leading the way for Fulton was Courtney Parker, who had two hits and an RBI. Anna Guernsey finished with a hit and two RBIs while Maureen McCann and Cheyenne Laun each added a hit.

Laun earned the win on the mound for Fulton. Laun finished with six strikeouts while allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings of action.

In relief of Laun, MiKayla Guernsey allowed only a hit in two innings of play.

The Lady Raiders built off their win against Cortland by upsetting Jamesville-DeWitt.

After two scoreless innings, Jamesville-DeWitt struck first, taking a 2-0 lead during the top of the third inning.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Remember to vote Tuesday

by Bill Lynch, Superintendent of Schools Fulton City School District

I am writing to encourage all registered voters in the community to participate in the Fulton school budget vote and board of education elections.

Tuesday, May 21, registered voters in the Fulton City School District will be asked to vote on the 2013-14 school district budget.

Members of the school board approved a $65.26 million tentative budget at their April 9th meeting. This budget, which was developed with input from a District Budget Committee and approved by the board, continues to provide and support quality educational programs, services and activities for our students.

Over the prior four years, our district has faced significant financial challenges which resulted in reductions to staff, programs and services.

The primary goal again this year in creating the 2013-14 budget is to maintain all student instructional programs, services and opportunities.

The budget is a $2.86 million increase from the current year budget and represents a 4.6 percent budget increase. The budget is supported by an increase of over $1.2 million in state foundation aid and in $1.1 million in expense driven aids including building aid for prior voter approved capital projects.

It is noteworthy that state operating or “foundation” aid to our district is still $1,236,669 less than received in 2008-09!

The district is prudently using $1.5 million in the district fund balance to cover general expenses plus $651,000 from two reserve accounts to cover specific expenses for which the reserve accounts were established.

Finally, a 1.5 percent increase in the local tax levy is anticipated, well below the district’s allowable school tax levy limit increase of 3.6%.

This spending plan supports district goals and the learning needs of all students, both high achieving and at risk.

Specifically, all instructional programs and course levels are maintained as are social and behavioral supports and services.

The budget further covers costs for district transportation, the maintenance and upkeep of schools and facilities and staff salaries, benefits and retirement costs.

The 2013-14 budget directs 74.2 percent of funds to student instruction, services and programs. Of the $2.86 million increase in the total budget, $2.26 million is directed to the program portion of the budget, which focuses on student instruction and learning.

The capital and debt portion of the budget makes up 15.8 percent while administration the remaining 10 percent.

State aid will provide 62.3 percent of the revenue, with the local tax levy providing 30.7 percent and other revenues contributing 7.0 percent of support.

Voters will also cast ballots to elect two members to the board of education.

Carolee Ashby confession coerced? Police: ‘We take allegations very seriously’

by Carol Thompson

A string of telephone calls purported to be from the family of confessed hit-and-run driver Douglas Parkhurst, alleging that his confession was coerced, is being taken seriously by the Fulton Police Department.

“We take it very seriously,” said Fulton Police Sgt. Stephen Lunn.

Since the time of the announcement that Parkhurst had confessed to being the driver of the car that killed four-year-old Carolee Sadie Ashby on Halloween night in 1968, the Ashby family said they have been receiving calls and text messages from people claiming to be family members, alleging that police coerced the confession from Parkhurst and that he did not hit Carolee.

Lunn said of the allegation that suggests the police had illegally obtained the confession is “one that we don’t take lightly.”

Carolee, her sister Darlene, and a cousin had gone to a store on S. Second Street in Fulton to buy candles for Darlene’s birthday cake and Darlene bought Carolee an ice cream cone.

They were headed back home and the cousin had ran ahead and safely crossed the street. As Darlene and Carolee crossed, a car suddenly came upon them and struck Carolee with a force that pulled Carolee’s hand out of Darlene’s hand.

Carolee was dragged or carried 133 feet and left in the road to die. The driver never stopped.

The calls have been disturbing for the Ashby family, coming at a time when they are dealing with the shock of the confession.

Lunn said the family should report the calls to the police, something Darlene Ashby McCann said she will do. They could be considered harassment, Lunn said.

Soon after learning of the confession, the family issued a statement requesting privacy.

The most interesting call allegedly came from Parkhurst himself to a grandson of Carolee’s mother. The caller, according to family members, said that he did not believe he was the driver who hit Carolee.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Fulton Tennis Lesson League deadline is June 18

The Fulton Tennis Lesson League is now open for registration.

Participants will be taught how to play tennis and then given the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a match situation.

Tennis strokes and strategies will be taught and then players of similar abilities will be matched up for supervised match play.

Participants can register for one, two or three sessions. But classes will need at least six players to hold a session.

Session 1 for ages 13 and under will be 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., ages 18 and under will be 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and adult beginners will be 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Lessons will run for Session 1 June 25, June 27, July 2 and (rain date) July 3.

Session 2 Lessons will run July 9, 11, 16, and (rain date) July 18.

Session 3 dates are July 23, 25, 30 and August 1(rain date)

Those interested may request registration forms by e-mailing jcavalier@cityoffulton.com (write tennis registration in subject line) or call Joann Cavalier at the City of Fulton Department of Parks & Recreation at 598-3593.

Registrations may also be picked up at the Municipal Building, 141 South 1st Street, Fulton, at the City Clerk’s Office; or by calling Matt Goodnough at 342-9238 or 593-5406 or e-mail at mgoodnough@twcny.rr.com.

Forms should be returned in person or by mail to the same address to Joann Cavalier, Parks & Recreation Office.

Goodnough is the boys and girls varsity tennis coach at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton. He is the Class A Tournament director for the boys Section III Tournament.

He has been coaching varsity tennis and running community tennis camps, leagues and tournaments for over 16 years.

Fulton baseball team loses three of last four games

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity baseball team went lost three of its last four games.

Christian Brothers Academy pulled away for an impressive win over Fulton May 7 while Cortland got off to a solid start en route to a double digit run win May 9.

Fulton fought back with an impressive performance against Homer May 13. The Red Raiders scored all five of their runs during the sixth inning to come away with its second win of the season.

Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, they were unable to build off of the momentum they gained during their previous game when they took on East Syracuse-Minoa May 14.

East Syracuse-Minoa scored nine runs during the game’s first two innings to set the tone for a win over the Red Raiders.

Christian Brothers Academy got off to a decent start when it took on Fulton.

After the first inning, Christian Brothers Academy jumped out to a 4-0 lead. After a scoreless second inning, Christian Brothers Academy scored a run in each of the following three innings to expand its lead to 7-0.

Following a scoreless sixth inning, Christian Brothers Academy put the game out of reach during the seventh inning. It scored 12 more runs to cap off a 19-0 win over Fulton.

Leading the way for the Red Raiders were Cody Green, Peter Ravesi, Adam Briggs and Jeremy Langdon, who all had hits in the game.

On the mound, Jake Crucitti got the start for Fulton. Crucitti had two strikeouts while allowing seven runs and five hits. In relief of Crucitti, Ron Smith had one strikeout while allowing 12 runs on 10 hits.

It didn’t get any easier when the Red Raiders took on Cortland. Cortland scored 11 unanswered runs during the first 3 innings of the game. However, Fulton battled back during the following 3 innings. They outscored Cortland by five runs to cut their lead to 13-7.

Cortland delivered a crucial blow during the sixth inning. Cortland erupted for six runs to wrap up a 19-7 win over Fulton.

The Red Raiders were led by Jon Cummins, who had two hits and three RBIs, including a home run. Cody Dick finished with two hits and two RBIs. Briggs, Chris Jones and Daniel Coant added two hits each.

Crucitti, Smith and Michael Bolster chipped in a hit each for Fulton.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

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